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wegodeep,

last year was my first year with the lobsters. I started in july and had some success but that was short lived. after that i managed about 1 keeper a week(i only have 2 traps). It is interesting but it becomes alot of work and makes a mess of the boat. (smithtown bay area).

jat
 

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Yup! Jat is right on the $. It is a lot of work and they make an ugly, smelly mess of your boat. If you have a new boat or something, don't even consider it, because you will do a # on the gelcoat, inside and out. In order to catch with any consistency you must place the traps in the deeper waters - 70+ ft. or more. Once you are there with the big boys (the commercials), watch where you place the pots. If you mug their territory and gear, they have unwritten laws which you, in all likelyhood, will not like.

Capt. Jerry
 

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schoolman,
Ihad my pots in 65 feet of water straight north from the bluff at kings park. the best i have done is 3 lobsters(this is checking them twice aweek).Would i do better if i was a little deeper.
Or change my bait(Usually ****tail blues or bunker)thanks
 

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Each area is different. Where do you plan to set up? I've been tending 10 traps for the past 5 years and have done well. Usually will get between 6 and 12 lobsters a week -- summer is best on east end of Long Island -- but I've caught as many as 25-30 a week. Last year was much tougher though. Depth can vary (I fish from 15 feet to 35 feet most of the the time -- rarely deeper than that). Just find an area that has rocks and not close heavy water traffic or you'llose your gear quickly. Also, give space to other traps. Don't "mug" and set your trap next to another trap. Courtesy goes a long way and the commercial boyz don't tolerate that stuff much... As per bait: skates, fish racks, bunker/herring are the most common choices...
 

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habs,
i put the traps out in smithtown bay and was going to set them near the reef but was not sure if it was legal. I had them out in 60 feet of water on a flat muddy bottom. From the other guys i talked to in this area my catch seemed to be average. any tips would be appreciated

thanks
jat
 

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jat56,
Fishing from a small 17' CC, I had 60 pots for 6 years off of Wading River fishing from June through Sept. A pound a pot was what most of us aimed for and was satisfied with on most days (keep in mind that this does goes back to around 1987 - 88). Whenever I experimented with the shallower and easier waters of say 20 - 40 ft., it was tough pickins, and that's putting it mildly. Most times I was inundated with tons and tons of crabs - the unedible kind - or the pot would be completely barren. This was only off of W.R. mind you. As someone mentioned in a previous posting, every area is different. Any way, after a while, it did not take rocket science intuition to figure that the deeper waters (75 - 120ft.) were the places to be. Besides the weekend warrior poachers are more prevalent near the shoreline areas, and the buoys were more prone to propeller cutoffs in the more traveled areas. The deeper the better was my general rule of thumb. However, the problem then arose how to fish among the heavies i.e. full timers with a 1000 or more pots. To put it mildly, they are very aware of your gear and extremely territorial. I always kept a healthy distance away (150 - 200 ft.) on the inside perimeter - one to two miles out from shore.
Bait didn't seem to matter much. I used bunker a lot, but racks from stripers, cod, fluke and even tuna heads worked well.
Good luck.

Capt. Jerry
 
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